CPR instructor: We could save thousands of lives - WNEM TV 5

CPR instructor: We could save thousands of lives

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Dennis McMahan is a CPR instructor. 

"You can save somebody's life. So that's the difference," McMahan said.

Each year 360,000 people nationwide die from cardiac arrest, with 88 percent of those instances occurring in the home.

McMahan said knowing CPR is crucial – it may take paramedics anywhere from six to ten minutes to get to the scene.

"For every minute that somebody doesn't intervene you lose ten percent of somebody's life," McMahan said.

Recruits in McMahan’s class at Delta College said they are taking this class seriously.

"Six months from now we might have to use it or we might have to use it tomorrow," said Terrance Moore.

Olivia Foote said, "It could mean saving somebody's life someday and that's really important."

McMahan said only eight percent of people survive a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. That's why he said he wants everyone to learn, to see that number go up.

McMahan said he knows the joy of saving lives with his knowledge of CPR.

"You really can't even speak about it. It's just a tremendous feeling of success that you helped somebody else," McMahan said.

McMahan said he's saved 80 people over the course of his 42 year career. He said he believes if more people are willing to learn even just hands only CPR, more cardiac arrest victims can survive.

"We can save probably over 200,000 people by people getting involved in CPR," McMahan said.

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